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The 1982 Franklin Batting Glove

Mike Schmidt
Technology in sports has evolved tremendously – from concussion-preventing helmets in football to lighter drivers on the golf course and much more. In 1982 top baseball minds at Franklin changed the way Major League Baseball® was forever outfitted by creating the first batting glove.

The founder of Franklin Sports, Irving Franklin (1918-2011) teamed up with Philadelphia Phillies legend and MLB Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to create the Authentic Pro Classic batting glove in 1982. This was the first glove specifically designed for baseball; before some players would wear golf gloves at the plate to protect their hands.

One design aspect of the Pro Classic that Mike Schmidt suggested was adding the Franklin bar logo on the back of the hand to garner more attention for the company during televised baseball games. The signature bar logo quickly became a staple on the back of all Franklin batting gloves.

Some current MLB players still wear the original Pro Classic batting glove including White Sox slugger Paul Konerko and new Yankee and Diamondback Kevin Youkilis and Martin Prado, respectively.

When the Authentic Pro Classic was created in 1982 (debuting on-field in 1983), Franklin introduced a new technology to the sport: Pittards digital leather. The first grip-enhanced leather was stitched into the palms of the Authentic Pro Classic batting gloves, providing an improved grip for hitters at the plate. The Pittards digital leather is still used on the current CFX® Pro and the NEO CLASSIC® II Franklin batting gloves. In fact, the NEO CLASSIC II is the evolved version of the original Pro Classic design.

The evolution of the batting glove continues each year and we will continue to post significant milestones Franklin reaches with batting glove technology throughout the Major League season. Check back to this blog for more in-depth stories of the creation of Franklin batting gloves.


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